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New Browns owner’s first question: Can Brandon Weeden play?

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In a strong indication of how important rookie quarterback Brandon Weeden is to the future of the franchise, new Browns owner Jimmy Haslam says the very first thing he inquired about when talking to the team’s football boss, Mike Holmgren, was the progress of Weeden’s development.

Haslam told the Canton Repository that when he sat down with Holmgren for the first time, he got straight to the point, and asked whether Holmgren believes the team has its quarterback of the future.

“The first question I asked him was, ‘Can Brandon Weeden play?'” Haslam said. “To win in the NFL, you have to have a quarterback. OK? So the question is, can Brandon Weeden play?

It’s not surprising that Haslam didn’t ask whether Colt McCoy can play — everyone in Cleveland seems to have agreed that McCoy is the past and Weeden is the present and future. It’s also not surprising that Holmgren — who took Weeden with the 22nd pick in this year’s NFL draft — answered that he thinks Weeden can play very well.

“He said, ‘Yeah. He can throw the ball. He can throw the ball. He can play,'” Haslam relayed Holmgren saying.

Haslam also wanted to know whether the Browns’ second-round draft pick, Mitchell Schwartz, will be ready to play at right tackle and give Cleveland another good starter on the offensive line along with left tackle Joe Thomas and center Alex Mack.

“Is the right tackle going to be good?” Haslam asked Holmgren. “Because we have a great left tackle. We have a great center. NFL teams . . . generally, if you have two good tackles and a center, you’re gonna be in good shape.”

Haslam wouldn’t say anything about the job security of Holmgren, G.M. Tom Heckert or head coach Pat Shurmur, other than it’s fair to say that Haslam wants to see progress during the 2012 season.

And there would be no greater sign of progress than Weeden establishing himself as a franchise quarterback.

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18 Responses to “New Browns owner’s first question: Can Brandon Weeden play?”
  1. jtchernak says: Aug 5, 2012 11:50 AM

    Hopefully he took notes from Kraft and can turn around the franchise the right way

  2. KL0313 says: Aug 5, 2012 12:03 PM

    What kind of answers was Haslam expecting Holmgren to give? “I drafted Weeden even though he sucks and can’t play. Oh yea, my other draft pick is a horrible tackle, too.”

  3. niners816 says: Aug 5, 2012 12:11 PM

    New Browns owner: “I think I’m going to use Ty Detmer as my #1 and my backup qb will be between Derek Anderson and Jeff Garcia. Wait a minute…”

  4. monosylab1k says: Aug 5, 2012 12:24 PM

    I like what the Browns are trying to build on offense. It will be interesting to see if Weeden can just “throw the ball” (so could Jamarcus) or if he’ll be good mentally too. I wish him success, but I’m worried by the QB-friendly system he’s coming out of, questionable anticipation, etc…

  5. shadylamp says: Aug 5, 2012 12:25 PM

    At least he knows a little something about football instead of an owner who probably thought the Browns were a new start up soccer team so he purchased them.

  6. citizenstrange says: Aug 5, 2012 12:31 PM

    And then Haslam asked Holmgren “Am I paying you enough or do you need another $10 million more per year?”

    “He said, ‘Yeah. I could use another $10 million per year,’” Haslam relayed Holmgren saying.

    Watch out AFC North! The new Browns owner is a poker faced SHARK!

  7. juanweiner says: Aug 5, 2012 12:33 PM

    Gee whiz its only the toughest division in the NFL, no pressure!

  8. t8ertot says: Aug 5, 2012 12:43 PM

    The dude is too old..doesn’t stand a chance in the afc north

  9. jjbadd385 says: Aug 5, 2012 1:08 PM

    I have a question that I hope hasn’t been answered, but is he still involved with the Steelers? Did he sell his intrest in the Steelers or what? I haven’t been paying attention obviously, but I was curios.

  10. elohim7ks says: Aug 5, 2012 1:09 PM

    It’s refreshing to finally see Cleveland get new owner-ship and start cleaning house. Holmgren was a great coach in Green Bay and Seattle where the official’s stole the game from Seattle in the Super Bowl against Pittsburg, with all those F-ed up call’s and flags. The whole world knows that, but it time for him to leave the front office and let the browns , become the Browns once more. Give Weeden the ball, and throw him in the fire, he’s a mature QB and should be ready. Yea he’s going to make mistakes, but it’s time for Cleveland to make they’re move, let Weeden go and clean house.

  11. abninf says: Aug 5, 2012 1:10 PM

    It’s not surprising that Haslam didn’t ask whether Colt McCoy can play —
    ===================================

    How do you know he didn’t?

  12. pacodawg says: Aug 5, 2012 1:14 PM

    To old ? I guess Peyton manning should now retire then ? If weedon is solid for 6-7 years I will take it. Most qb have a starting shelf life of 6. Don’t let the age scare u

  13. kingcarlbanks says: Aug 5, 2012 1:40 PM

    don’t know the average age of PFT readers, but does anybody besides myself remember when the Browns were good? I ‘m kinda hoping the Brownies get there crap together and start being a relevant franchise again, instead of the shadow of a joke it’s been since coming back. It would be good for the game.

  14. coop16 says: Aug 5, 2012 2:01 PM

    @kingcarlbanks:
    I’m old enough to remember when the Browns were good … which is one of the reasons why I’m so disgusted with what I’ve seen since 1999. You’re exactly right, they’ve been an absolute joke. But for us Browns fans, it’s an old, tiresome and unfunny joke.

  15. couldntthinkofaname says: Aug 5, 2012 3:05 PM

    shadylamp says: Aug 5, 2012 12:25 PM

    At least he knows a little something about football instead of an owner who probably thought the Browns were a new start up soccer team so he purchased them.
    __________________________

    Randy Lerner inherited the team. Nice try at being clever, though.

  16. mustangseo says: Aug 5, 2012 3:27 PM

    The Browns have had so many GM’s, President’s, Coaches, and of course starting QB’s since 1999 it’s sick.

    Every 3 years it gets blown up and the new coach/gm starts from scratch with the roster.

    It’s really as simple as that. I just hope Haslam does indeed like the direction the current front office is in. I think we’d all understand if Holmgren is not retained in the full capacity he’s in now. I think we’d also all agree that Heckert knows how to draft and should be given a few more years…

  17. latchbeam says: Aug 5, 2012 3:32 PM

    Strongest arm in the NFL

  18. oldcracker says: Aug 7, 2012 11:59 PM

    Weinke could play in college, too.

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